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Brief History of the Surgical CO2 Laser

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1950 - 1960s.   Lasers were concurrently invented in the USA by Charles Townes, Arthur Schawlow, Gordon Gould and Theodore Maiman and in the USSR by Alexander Prokhorov and Nikolay Basov.

Charles TownesArthur SchawlowGordon GouldTheodore MaimanAlexander ProkhorovNikolay Basov

1964.  The carbon dioxide laser (the CO2 laser) was invented in the USA by Kumar Patel. The CO2 laser is one of the highest-powered and most efficient lasers that are currently available, and is one of the most useful in a variety of medical, surgical, industrial and military applications.

Kumar Patel

1970s.  Early surgical CO2 lasers were pioneered in the USA and in the USSR and used articulated arms for laser beam delivery to the target tissue. Articulated arms are an older technology (developed during 1970s) and still in use by surgical CO2 laser manufacturers who do not have access to proprietary flexible waveguide technology.

1979 Soviet made 25-Watt surgical laser

1970 - 1980s.  All-metal RF-excited CO2 lasers (US Pat 4,169,251) and flexible waveguides for CO2 lasers (US Pat 4,652,083) were invented in the USA in 1970s-1980s by Dr. Kathy Laakmann-Crothall. A crucial component in the success of Luxar surgical CO2 lasers was the all-metal flexible waveguide beam delivery technology, invented in the USA by Michael Levy (US Pat 4,913,505).

Dr. Laakmann-Crothall

1980s.  All-metal RF-excited CO2 lasers were commercialized in the highly popular line of Xanar CO2 surgical lasers, which later became Coherent Medical's (and now Lumenis's) line of UltraPulse / Encore CO2 surgical lasers.

Articulated Arm Lasers

1988 - 1997.  The all-time best-selling surgical laser was invented and designed in the USA by the Luxar Corporation in the late 1980s. Luxar Corporation was founded by Dr. Kathy Laakmann-Crothall and former Xanar laser engineers Paul Diaz, Michael Levy et. al. in Seattle, WA, USA in 1988. Luxar lasers employed a flexible waveguide beam delivery system and were powered by an all-metal laser tube. Luxar lasers outperformed their articulated arm rivals and became the most popular CO2 lasers ever sold with over 12,000 customers world-wide.

LX-20SP Luxar laserLX-20SP Luxar laser

1998.  Luxar Corporation was sold to ESC Medical Systems in early 1998.

1998 - 2002.  Luxar became a part of Lumenis Inc. in 2001 as a result of the ESC and Coherent Medical merger. During Lumenis's post-merger reorganization in 2002, all Luxar product lines were moved out of Seattle, Washington to overseas locations: medical laser manufacturing was moved to Yokneam, Israel and industrial laser manufacturing was moved to Spectron Lasers in Rugby, England.

2002 - 2008.  LuxarCare was founded in 2002 by Paul Diaz and Dr. Peter Vitruk, immediately following their departure from Lumenis. LuxarCare's only objective is to keep owners of flexible waveguide CO2 laser users in business. By 2008, LuxarCare had captured 50% share of the Luxar laser support market in North America.


2006.  Second generation of flexible waveguide CO2 lasers was introduced by LuxarCare's sister company Aesculight LLC.

Flexible Waveguide Laser from Aesculight

2009.  LuxarCare has signed agreements with Lumenis (Lumenis is a Registered Trademark of Lumenis Ltd and Lumenis Inc) and Aesculight to become their excusive certified service, accessories, upgrades and support provider for their respective LX-20, Luxar, NovaPulse, AccuVet and Aesculight flexible fiber waveguide CO2 lasers.

Luxar, AccuVet, Lumenis, Aesculight

2009.  LuxarCare introduced the next generation of re-usable flexible hand-held fiber waveguide technology under the LightScalpel TM brand name for human medical applications.

LightScalpel flexible fiber and laser accessories

2012 & 2014.  LightScalpel received FDA-clearance on new the surgical CO2 laser systems, the LS-1005 and LS-2010.

LightScalpel dental laser

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